Sometimes...life throws us moldy cauliflowers. In our crisper bins. Yuck.
(Which, really, is a much better find than all of the moldy peppers our roommate left us when she went away for two weeks. But still. Undesirable.)
And when it does. We should not make moldy cauliflower-ade.
No, really. Please don't do that.
Moving on is tough, I know, but we just need to throw that promiscuous Brassica into our garbage can (cavorting with a fungus...the NERVE) and start scouring our fridge and wall storage units for any and all veggies that could replace the aforementioned now-green-and-fuzzy cauliflower in the recipe that we had our hearts set on making.
(It's a process.)
Brussels sprouts and potatoes? Yes, I think they'll do.
This dish has a lot of great components in it. Crispy crunchy breadcrumbs. Buttery sweet raisins. Salty briny capers. Fried almonds.
And the smoky flavor....of GravyMaster.
I was sent one of these little bottles to try and at first I had no idea what to do with it because of, uh, the whole meat-free apartment thing. But then I discovered that GravyMaster can be used for so much more than just gravy! Oh yes, it's a great addition to all kinds of sauces and marinades...and in this case to add a nice caramelized smoky flavor to the roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes.
Also, I know a lot of you will be roasting meats this holiday season and this little brown bottle is a great trick to help you Master the meal and add some wow factor to whatever you're cooking up!
So tell me, what would you make with Gravymaster this holiday season?
As for me, I think I'm going to whip up another batch of this brussels sprout and potato dish and call it dinner. Even without a certain unruly white vegetable in the picture, it just seems like the delicious thing to do.
Before we get to the recipe, there's one order of business we need to attend to, and it's an important one.
The moment you've all been waiting for, in fact.
Yes, that's right. It's back. With a vengeance.
(And a strong and willfull desire not to have to buy a whole new wardrobe come January 1st.)
What is it? Basically, Eat.Live.Be. is an online support group of bloggers and blog readers whose aim is to help each other reach their healthy living goals. Each week we'll post about a topic from a specific type of media that has inspired us in some way (you'll see what I mean in a second) as well as share as much or as little as we so desire about our goals and what we've been doing (or not doing, as the case may be) to reach them. We will also be posting a motivational quote or image.
Here are my goals:
1) Lose twenty pounds. This will put me at a happy and healthy weight.
2) Run (another) sub-four hour marathon. I think losing the weight will help me with this, as will continuing to take lots of strength training classes at the gym.
3) Stop the emotional/binge eating. There. I said it. It happens. And it's not just me. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. You eat one thing that's not-so-good and then you feel guilty, which causes you to spiral into an eating-everything-in-the-fridge spree. And then you feel even worse the next day. And the cycle continues. The only way I can stop this is to not let it start. Work-in-progress.
How. That is the big question, now isn't it? For a long time I was a calorie counter. It took a long time for me to stop being a calorie counter (though I still do occasionally calculate the calories of the things that I eat for dinner, just to keep myself in check). I have no desire to go back to being a calorie counter. None. At all. But Weight Watchers Points? Those are magical mystical abstract things. I have no idea what they mean or where they came from. There is no guilt attached to them. I just know I should eat a certain amount every day and if I do, I will lose weight. It's easy. Especially since I LOVE exercising and do it with a vengeance. (And you get to eat more points if you exercise! Nice.) Even though I'm not officially allowed to run again until December 29th, I've been hitting the gym 6 days a week to make sure I stay in shape enough to be able to pick up where I left off. And if I can keep off the holiday fifteen in the process...that would be even better. The real challenge is proving to be not pretending the five thousand points I ate in chocolate chip peppermint cookies don't actually exist. Like I said. Working on it.
Okay, so. The theme for this week is "magazine". I spend a lot of my time in lab perusing the scientist's version of the magazine - the scientific journal. A few weeks back, I came across this article in the British Journal of Nutrition comparing the antioxidant effects of cooked versus raw Brassicas (cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli). I know there is a lot of debate over whether cooking leeches nutrients out of vegetables, but happily enough...there is actually NO difference, at least in terms of antixodative effects! Not only that, but this provided hard and fast proof that eating cruciferous vegetables such as the brussels sprouts in the recipe below WILL help protect you against cancer. Can you think of a better reason to cook this tonight, other than the fact that it's delicious? Cause, uh. I can't.
If you want to join in on Eat.Live.Be. then PLEASE either write a post about it (if you are a blogger) and let us know that you did in the comments, OR (if you are not a blogger) tell us about your healthy living goals in the comments!
Inspirational Quote of the Day:
Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes with Almonds, Raisins and Capers
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 3/4 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
- 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp gravymaster (optional)
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp tarragon, minced
- 1 tsp dried chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the brussels sprouts and potatoes. Place a large skillet over low heat and add one tablespoon butter. When it has melted, add bread crumbs and toss until toasted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a plate and wipe out pan.
- Return pan to medium heat and add one teaspoon olive oil. Add almonds and toss until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer almonds to a plate.
- Wipe out pan and return to medium heat. Add remaining one tablespoon olive oil, brussels sprouts, and potatoes. Sauté until lightly browned on both sides. Add 1 tsp Gravy Master, if using, tossing to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the veggies to the pan and roast 12 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 450 and roast another 5 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and add raisins, vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Simmer until raisins are plump and soft, about 5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a small bowl, combine almonds, breadcrumbs, capers, raisins, parsley, tarragon and chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix.
- Arrange roasted veggies on a serving platter. Spoon almond-herb mixture evenly on top. Serve immediately.